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Author: Catherine Garcia
Values & Ethic For Leader And The Organization
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Values & Ethics for the Leader and the Organization

" There's a misconception that ethics is something we only have in our
heart, that we learn from our parents or from our church, and that businesses
don't need to concern themselves with it, " says Majorie Kelly, Founder and
Editor of Business Ethics magazine.

"We are very aggressive as a business culture at creating institutional forms
that encourage the kind of behavior that we want, but we have not done that
with ethics. In fact, business have done quite the opposite by setting overly
aggressive growth and sales goals and then sending the message that you
better hit the mark no matter what, " she adds. In such a precarious
environment, falling short is not tolerated. "That's a set-up for unethical
behavior," Kelly explains.

Despite the Sarbanes � Oxley Act of 2002, which sets a standard for
corporate accountability and penalties for wrongdoing in response to the
increasing number of corporate and accounting scandals, some experts
believe that the responsibility for maintaining an ethical environment is up to
management. "Business ethics is never going to be successfully regulated.
There are bad people who are always going to want to do bad things." Says
Martin Taylor., Vice President of Organizational Services for the Institute
for Global Ethics.


On a Local, National, Regional or Global front, ethical standards are being
seen as increasingly important, whether the situation involves bribery, and
corruption, executive pay, treatment of employees or suppliers, human
rights, intellectual property, or misappropriation of funds. Reputation of
Global corporations has been shredded by the scandal of unethical behavior.

Doing business in today's global market place places new demands on
companies, their employees, governments, the financials community,
regulators assessing corporate performance and communicators. There is
now greater pressure for regulators to act on corporate malpractice.

In his book, The 6 principles of managing with Integrity (Spiro Press),
Kaptein outlines the multitude of "ethical dilemmas that confront business
executives and their communicators. When does keeping silent constitute
lying? When does an intimate relationship become intimidation? When does
the private use of company property constitute theft? How does one achieve
balance between generating profits and jobs, between sales and safety,
between self-interest and organizational interest, and between economics
and ecology?

In Kapteins view, how managers and communicators resolve such dilemmas
determine their personal integrity, as well as that of the organization.


Martin Taylor, Vice President of Organizational Services for the Institute for
Global Ethics says that you can set a standard for good behavior. He offers
the following advice on creating a climate of integrity:

Set an example through strong leadership. "Ethics programs are
generally aimed at employees when it's management who are the
ones in trouble." Says Taylor. Employees expect supervisors and
managers to set an example.

Set Realistic goals. "Set your goals in conjunction with your team
members, urges Kelly. Don't sit in your office with a calculator
and a spreadsheet and think about what's going to make your
stakeholders happy. Get down in the field with the people who are
talking to the customers and find out what goals are realistic."

Provide Training. 71% of those polled believed serious
commitment by management to address ethical issues would help
with the problem.

Distinguish between compliance and ethics. "You can pass all the
laws, all the reforms, all the structural changes, but when it comes
right down to it," offers Marianne Jennings, Professor of Legal and
Ethical studies at the college of Business of Arizona State
University, "ethics is about being forthright even when the law
allows you to be less than forthright."


Credibility and competition can go hand in hand without compromising
ethics. Conditions that lend themselves in the workplace to allow an
employee to display a competitive spirit are varied.

A competitive spirit is likely to be displayed when an individual in the
workplace perceives their leadership to have high credibility.


When an individual in the workplace perceives their leaders as highly
credible, they are significantly more willing to increase their effort since
they perceive their leaders as knowledgeable and having character. On the
other hand, when individuals in the workplace perceive their leadership to
have low credibility, they are more likely to believe that leadership is
incompetent and lacks the character necessary to fulfill their commitments.
Low credibility contributes to a sense among workers that leadership is not
quite telling the truth, and leadership is motivated more by greed then by
genuine commitment to workers, and even customers.


Without a strong culture to guide them in the decision making process,
workers will often initiate ways to devise solutions, which may be
capriciously discarded at a later point in time. In this way, shared values
affect worker effort. Workers are cognizant of what leaders and co-workers


in the organization value those are the actions that gain the preponderance of

Actions stressed by leadership will become organizational values. However,
if the stated or published values are not practiced by leadership, workers will
perceive an inconsistency between what is stated and what is practiced. This
inconsistency is likely to effect workers competitive spirit.

Leaders lead by example, where they spend the majority of their time is a
true indicator of their values. Leaders publish their values and should be
committed to those values. Their actions should be consistent with their
published values. Perceived inconsistencies by workers will be noticed and
in many cases will be magnified out of proportion. In creating values,
leadership is expected to honor those values in all situations (Dean and
Kennedy, 1982, p.33).


One of the most difficult situations for workers is to decide what is the right
decision, the right thing to do when faced with making ethical choices.
Organizational leadership may articulate that decision should be made on the
basis of the greatest good for the greatest number, respecting and protecting
the basic rights of individuals, and to impose and enforce rules fairly.
However, in reality, leadership expects workers to withhold corrections or
report actions they perceive to be unethical or illegal practices, especially to
outsiders when workers perceive situations they judge to be unethical, they
often enter into a stage of ethical ambivalence.



Consensus and clarity has long been suggested as a key ingredient for
organization success. However, mission clarity, like decision making in an
organization is more of a desired state than a reality state. Mission consensus
and clarity are indeed a desirable state. Most often in reality most workers
are often confused regarding the organizational mission and therefore, lose
their competitive spirit. This makes it difficult for workers to display
excitement and make a commitment to the organization.

Absence of mission consensus and clarity forecasts a situation where
workers are often forced to choose behaviors that are in their self interests.
For example, Grover (1991) suggests that workers may even deceive others
to achieve personal power and control. Although workers may achieve
success in gaining more power and control, we suggest that his or her
success will not produce a competitive spirit outcome within the individual.

In the book, Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones, she writes that Jesus came
with a "Mission." Jesus knew his mission statement, and he did not deviate
from it. He declared that his mission was, in essence, to teach people about a
better way of life. He saw himself as a teacher and a healer.

The story goes that when Jesus was in the wilderness he was given several
"business opportunities" that did not relate to his mission.


Each of these opportunities was related to talents that Jesus had, and used, in
some form or another during his tenure. But, he resisted them because they
did not fit his mission statement.

Leaders must be able to rise above controversies, jealousies, petty personal
attacks, and ego slights, real or imagined, in order to accomplish anything of

It is easy to look at people occupying powerful seats and forget the many
attacks, vilifications, insults, and opposition they endured in order to attain
their powerful status. Influence doesn't come easily.

Jesus rose above it all by keeping a heavenly perspective. To be "in the
world, but not of it" means rising above it all.

Jesus walked up to the Fishermen and said, "Follow me, and I will make you
fishers of men." They dropped their nets and followed him. He met a woman
at a well and said, "follow me and you will never be thirsty again." She
dropped her bucket and ran to get all of her friends.

History repeatedly has shown that people hunger for something larger than
themselves. Leaders who offer that will have no shortage of followers. In
fact, higher purpose is such a vital ingredient to the human psyche that a
scripture say "where there is no vision, the people perish."


Studies show that people will work harder and longer on projects when they
understand the overall significance of their individual contributions.

The Study most often quoted is that of airplane workers who were divided
into two groups. Members of one group simply did what they were told to
do, while the other group's members were taken to the engineering lab and
shown how their particular pieces were part of a magnificent jet that would
fly higher and faster than any jet had ever flown before. Without any
additional incentive, the second group's productivity soared. They knew
how important their contribution was to a larger plan.

Jesus is an amazing model of staying committed to his mission. He clearly
and consistently conveyed to his staff the significance of what they were
doing. He spoke long and often about the calling and they could feel and see
the long lasting benefits of their work with him. They were changing
people's lives for the good. They were working for something beyond

Developing a mission statement is the best way to keep the end or the
destination in mind. Leaders who cast light have a clear sense of what they
hope to accomplish and seek to achieve worthwhile goals. For example,
Abraham Lincoln was out to preserve the union, Nelson Mandela wanted to
abolish apartheid, and Mother Teresa devoted her whole life to reducing


Author of Jesus, CEO, Laurie Beth Jones believes that useful mission
statements are short, easily understood and communicated, and committed to
memory. Developing a personal mission statement according to Jones begins
with personal assessment. Juana Bordas, Leadership Consultant agrees.
Bordas identifies nine cairns for creating personal purpose.

Call your purpose, listen for guidance
Find a sacred place
See time as continuous begin with the child and move with the
Identify special skills and talents; accept imperfections
Trust your intuition
Open the door when opportunity knocks
Find your passion and make it happen
Write your life story
Honor your legacy, one step at a time

A mission statement is not complete without a set of values to serve as a
moral compass to guide us on our journey. Values most notably ethical
values provide a frame of reference, helping us set priorities and determine
right or wrong.

Leaders sometimes make values the end-all of ethical decision making.
Values to be effective have to be translated into action. Having an ultimate
destination will encourage leaders as well as followers to stay on the correct
ethical track. Developing a personal mission statement that reflects your
strengths or the strength of your organization will release true passion.


Case Study:
Multiply Abuse Children

Save the Children is a non-profit group that pushes for tougher laws against
those who sexually abuse children. Currently, Save the Kids is in its biggest
lobbying effort ever in an attempt to get the state legislature to pass a law
that requires convicted sex offenders to register their whereabouts with local
police departments.

The organizations founder, Steve Hansen, is convinced that such a law can
significantly reduce the number of child abuse cases in the state.
Unfortunately, contributions aren't keeping up with expenses and Save the
Kids may have to drastically reduce its lobbying efforts just as the sex
offender registration bill comes before the legislature. Chances are, this law
will pass only if Save the Kids keeps up its lobbying campaign. Mr. Hanson
is now raising money for Save the Kids through a series of speeches. To
encourage contributions, Hanson knowingly exaggerates both the number of
convicted sex offenders in the state as well as the number of children who
are abused every year.

Does it matter that Hanson knowingly exaggerates the numbers? Does the
degree to which he exaggerates matter? These are all ethical dilemmas.
Hanson rationalizes that it his actions are for a good cause. Is he right? This
behavior happens all the time, but is it ok?


Recommendations & Conclusions:

"Ethics, "Values" � how do we integrate these into our organization? How
do we endeavor to ask our employees to adopt our values? These are
challenges every leader faces.

Ethics has everything to do with management. Rarely do the character flaws
of a lone actor fully explain corporate misconduct. More typically, unethical
business practice involves the cooperation of others and reflects the values,
attitudes, beliefs, language, and behavioral patterns that define an
organization's operating culture. Ethics, then, is as much an organizational
as a person issue. Managers who fail to provide proper leadership and to
institute systems that facilitate ethical conduct share responsibility with
those who conceive, execute, and knowingly benefit from corporate
misdeeds. (Harvard business professor Lynn Sharp Paine)

Forming and maintaining a positive ethical climate is one of the most
important responsibilities we assume when we take on a leadership role in
an organization. All members help share the collective ethical atmosphere,
but leaders exert the most influence. Followers will look to leaders for moral
guidance. They'll want answers to such questions as these: "What happens
to those who break the rules?" "What's most important, making a profit or
doing the right thing?'

Assuming that shaping the climate is easy is a falsity. Leaders are just as
likely to be corrupted by the existing moral atmosphere as followers, turning


a blind eye to questionable practices because "it has always been done that

Highly ethical organizations act with integrity (ethical soundness,
wholeness, consistency). All units and organizational levels share a
commitment to high moral standards, backing up their ethical "talk" with
their ethical "walk." According to business ethicist Lynn Sharp Paine,
managers who act with integrity see ethics as a driving force of an
enterprise." These leaders recognize that ethical values largely define what
an organization is and what it hopes to accomplish. They keep these values
in mind when making routine decisions.

Paine believes that any effort to improve organizational integrity must
include the following elements:

Sensible, clearly communicated values and commitments
Company leaders who are committed to and act on their values
The values are part of the routine decision-making process and are
factored into every important organizational activity
Systems and structures support and reinforce organizational
Leaders throughout the organization have the knowledge and skills
they need to make ethical decisions


As we review the subject of Values & Ethics within an organization, my
paper clearly points out and has proven that an organizations values do come
from the leaders and the leadership that the organization has set in place.

Policy guidelines are the written code of behavior as well as procedures for
the organization. But, it is the leaders and managers that model the true
values and ethics of the organization for their staff and followers.



Deal, T. E., & Kennedy, A.A. (1982). Corporate culture: the rites
and rituals of corporate life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley

Maslow, A. (1970). Motivation and Personality. New York.

Grover, S.L. (1993). " Lying, Deceit, and subterfuge: A model of
dishonesty in the work place". Organization Science, 4, 478-795

Herxburg, F. (1982). The Managerial Choice: To be efficient and
to be human. Salt Lake, UT: Olympus

Kakar, S. (1970). Fredrick Taylor: A study in Personality and
innovation. Cambridge, MA MIT Press.

Kouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z. (1993). Credibility. San Francisco:
Jossey- Bass

Thibautr, J.W & Kelly, H.H. (1959) The Social Psycology of
Groups. New York.

Jansen, E., & Von Gilnow, M.A. (1985). "Ethical ambivalence and
organizational reward systems" Academy of Management Review,
10, 814-822.


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